Woman Crush Wednesday with Whitney Lauritsen
This month we are incredibly excited to share a Woman Crush Wednesday interview with Whitney Lauritsen aka Eco Vegan Gal, our friend, business mentor and all-round vegan health crusader! When we both became vegan we turned to YouTube to educate ourselves more about the vegan lifestyle and discovered Whitney's channel which became a huge inspiration to us! Her warm and approachable character gave us an insight into the wonderful vegan offerings in the US as well an insight into the life of an experienced expert in the field of sustainability and veganism. Her YouTube channel, website and facebook offer her followers tips on ways to live more mindfully, sustainably and compassionately from recipes, wellness hacks, reviews and more. She's our go to girl when we travel to Los Angeles, always there to give us the best advice and places to visit from eco friendly beauty salons to the best up and coming restaurants.
As an experienced entrepreneur Whitney is also using her own expertise to help others turn their passions into a career and make a bigger impact on the world. Whitney has supported us to navigate our way through the world of creative content by offering business coaching and a wonderful community of like minded vegan entrepreneurs to share our experiences with. We can't wait for you to read our interview!
Eco and Vegan are two of our favourite words and passions! For those of our followers who haven't heard about you how was Eco Vegan Gal born?
In fall 2008 I attended a panel that featured eco-living bloggers. I was so inspired by their work that I started my own blog for fun in October 2008. It was just a hobby at first, until I realized how passionate I was about it. Eco-Vegan Gal became my part-time career at the beginning of 2010 and then I made it my full-time career in 2012.
What initially inspired you to become vegan?
I went vegetarian in May 2003 after being inspired by a high-school friend. 6 months later, after doing lots of research and experiencing all the joys of giving up meat, I went vegan. My preliminary motivation was centered around health, then I learned the cruel truth about eating animal products. Over the years I fell in love with every element of the lifestyle due to how good I felt emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Can you tell us some of the challenges or fears you had about starting a business and how you have over come them?
This list could be a mile long, mainly because I’ve been teaching business strategies for years. Through my coaching programs, I frequently remember the challenges and fears I’ve had with my brand. Fear of failure and judgement are at the root of most of my challenges, and I’m still working through those emotions so I can’t say I’ve fully overcome them. I think life is an on-going practice of refining and chipping away at ourselves. I don’t know if we ever fully reach “the top” and overcome all our fears and challenges. It seems as if making progress is the key to life. I focus on feeling fulfilled each day with whatever steps I take, however small or big. The more I tune into myself through meditation and self-reflection, the more joy and clarity I experience with my business.
As an self employed entrepreneur we know it can become hard to switch off from work, do you have any self care rituals that you swear by?
I have more self-care rituals than I can count! My day begins with filtered water and supplements like probiotics and vitamin B12, followed by meditation with crystals in hand and sometimes peaceful music. I’ll often light a candle or incense and set up my essential oil diffuser, and apply essential oils on my skin. My Himalayan salt lamp is on most of the day. The day usually ends with more oil applications, water mixed with magnesium powder and chia seeds, and reading on my ipad while wearing Swanwick blue-blocker glasses.
Are there any books or podcasts you would recommend for anyone interested in exploring a vegan lifestyle?
My book and podcast recommendations are endless! If I could only recommend one each, right now it would be Beyond Beliefs by Melanie Joy and the Food Heals Podcast.
If you could choose one superfood to keep stocked in your kitchen cupboard what would it be?
Chia seeds, because they are so versatile. In addition to being delicious in puddings, I love them as an egg replacer and as a digestion-friendly drink at night.
What or who inspires you at the moment?
I’m inspired by anyone teaching self-care. I’m a sponge for personal development and I’m usually reading or listening to multiple books and podcasts on this subject each week. Recently, I’ve been really enjoying Danielle LaPorte’s new podcast called Light Work and books by Brendon Burchard.
If you could have a super power what would it be?
I honestly think I already have super powers, just like everyone else in the world. It’s just a matter of recognizing them and tuning in to know how and when to use them. If I could acquire a new one, it would be extreme focus. One of my biggest challenges is procrastination, so it’d be nice to wave a wand and change that.